Subject: What are these little water bugs?
Location: Boulder Colorado
August 1, 2012 8:24 pm
I saw these little creatures today here in sunny Colorado in a small pool of water. At first glance they looked like some sort of fly that would stride on the water. While watching them for awhile longer, a leaf hopper jumped into the water and suddenly every one of these water flies swarmed it and devoured the leaf hopper! What are they?!
Signature: Michael Lohr
These are Water Striders in the family Gerridae. They are able to skate across the surface of calm bodies of water without sinking thanks to a wide leg span that disperses the weight as well as water repellent hairs on their legs. According to BugGuide, they are found “surface of temporary or permanent ponds, and slow-moving areas of streams and rivers” and they feed on “small living or dead insects on the water surface.” We are not certain if these are immature Water Striders or if they are just a very small species.